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"Decisions" affect nothing but the next few words out of an NPCs mouth

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
"Decisions" affect nothing but the next few words out of an NPCs mouth

Raeln's Avatar

02.09.2012 , 11:35 PM | #31
For you people claiming the story isn't what it was hyped to be, ponder this:

If you really could make decisions that had radical and devastating impacts on your story - how long before some of your camp of players would be back on these forums asking for the ability to reset your quest decisions?

While having decisions majorly swing the outcome can lead to very deep story immersion, it can also quickly lead to immense frustration - especially after someone discovers that because they were a jerk at the beginning of the game, they've woven themselves into a web of no allies at the end of the game - or because you took a left in that one corridor on that level 5 quest, a future love interest character is forever closed to you, just because you "didn't know" or "couldn't have taken the time" to fully explore the entire map.

Rails in a story have a reason to be there - it ensures the game remains playable, no matter what type of a jerk a player is. Even in table top gaming, a good DM has to bring his players back to the story (IE: putting them back on the rails) and not let them wander off aimlessly for long periods of time.

Keep in mind, that no matter what the story - within a few weeks of release, all possible outcomes will end up plastered on a myriad of websites anyway, only serving to strengthen the rails in-game further than what the game developer could have ever intended.

Playing my trooper, there have been times that I thought I wandered too far from the main rail by helping with some side quests. I mean, as an example, there's this bomb that could explode at any time - then various planet/galaxy calamities, but I'm busy finding stolen medicine and arresting prisoners for most of "my career" - rather than going right after the target.

My Jedi Consular spent more time helping the people in the area that I was at (read: side quests) than he did saving the galaxy from space herpies.

Military life is really as linear as you can get - how can anyone possibly expect a game, about military conflict, to be non-linear? In short, when you get a mission while in the military, it's "go gather intelligence" or "go eliminate this target" or "go be a meatshield on the frontline".

It's not, "go be a meatshield on the front line and don't forget to pick up some cheese at the market on the other side of town on the way".

Also - in a game where planets are "worlds" - how is every decision you make going to follow you from Planet A to Planet B? That is, unless you decide to blow up Planet A and I'm not sure how a decision of that magnitude could be written into a persistent MMO world in the first place. Hope you got everything you will ever need from that planet before you pushed the "Boom" button.

alricka's Avatar

02.10.2012 , 07:18 AM | #32
Decisions do matter.
For example, I'm a Sith Warrior and my early-level adventures on Dromund Kaas had me fighting against the forces of a renegade Sith, Lord Grathan. Eventually, my master sent me into his estate to kill his son in order to break Grathan's morale. I did what I was ordered and killed both Grathan's son and his wife who wanted to protect the boy. Just before I killed them, Grathan's wife tried to weasle out, but I had none of it and that was basically the end of my character's dealing with the Grathans.

However, it's possible to decide to spare the son and kill the father instead, by the wife's scheme (they both hate Grathan). Then, Grathan's son will fake his death at my hands and assume his father's role with his mother at his side. Publically, it would be as if I followed Baras' orders strictly, but I would have two secret allies in the Grathans. Now, wether they'd come to have a role later-on with this scenario, I don't know - probably not - but those are two different outcomes altogether. In the first case (when you obey Baras and kill the son), you don't even get to meet Lord Grathan himself.

Sure, it'd be nice if you had a real impact on the world, but that's impossible in an MMO. I supposedly broke the resistance on Balmorra and embarrased the Republic by exposing their violation of the Treaty, but you won't be able to tell by going there - the same rebel mobs and NPCs are still sitting there and the lower-level Sith and Imperial players are still fighting them. If I viewed the game as the personal story of only my Sith Warrior, Balmorra should be a totally different place now. It's not and it will never be. That's how it is in an MMO - you share the world with the other players and you simply can't make world-shattering decisions that actually reshape everything. You can't blame BioWare for that/

CaliJoe's Avatar

02.10.2012 , 01:20 PM | #33
This is a "living" game. I would suspect future flashpoints or storylines would zigzag across legacy toons. If you kill off an npc, it would not be there in the future for another alla ME series.
Wild speculation on forums? When does that happen? The Harbinger - Fumanshu Legacy
Repub: Jafaean(Arms), Zelgen(Artifice), Espellah(Cyber), Jabender(Synthweave)
Imp: Vindrock(Armor), Antshell(BioChem), Li'Larish, Kenevil

jackofrost's Avatar

02.10.2012 , 01:59 PM | #34
My Sith Warrior laughs at the OP.

And I really wanted Dark Jaesa too

Theres a ton of choices that change the outcome. Of course, unless youve done the same quest twice and chosen different options... I don't see how you would know.

I have.

KidRaid's Avatar

02.10.2012 , 03:52 PM | #35
Interesting if seen before discussion

Seen before here and on boards of other MMO game.

And you are all correct.

How could that be?????

The difficulty for any game compagny is to first set and then meet these expectations.

When I play a computer game I have certain expectations. These expectations are base on my past experience, my knowledge of electronic storytelling limitations, my previous experience with a game compagnies (BW in this case), my pre-knowledge of the game (via reviews , publicity , word of mouth etc...) and also my own hopes and dreams. One of the problem is that for each of us these are different so that in the end our experience of the game will yeild completely different levels of satisfation.

The only part of the expectation that the compagny controls is what we know about the game before playing it. They use that to try and set expectations.

When setting the expectations they have to be careful. If the raise them to high then when players experience the actuall game they will be diapointed and dilike the game. Eventually a certain portion might quit and word of mouth will be negative.


If the set the expectation too low then many players will not even attempt to play the game in the first place.

If a good balance is reached many players will be looking foward to play the game and at the same time pleaseantly surprised by it.

In this case in point . Like many MM SWTOR presents itself before you play by saying that is is a persistent world where you actions will the game overview it states

Choose to be a Jedi, a Sith, or from a variety of other classic Star Wars roles, and make decisions which define your personal story and determine your path down the light or dark side of the Force
Now what one reads into this phrase can be completly different.

To me they more than met it because depending on my choices the "feel" of the quest changes. the reasons for which I do things change. even if in the end I do the same quest I may do it for money or I may do it because i is richous or for power. Sometime the decision are completely different do I kill a father ot force the son to go to sith school or do I let them flee?. Why I take one option or the other ... All this makes to me each story unique.

However If in it I had read that this was meant to say that this was a game which is a multi path multi arc game in wich replayability ment having completely different stories based on each and every choices I make . Then I would be sorely disapointed . And righlty so. Did they not say that my decisions would"define my personal story??

Unfortunatly the truth is that the best BW can do is to please as many players as possible while keeping the developpement within reasonable costs. There will be players that are very disapointed and will leave the game . there will be some that are disapointed and gripe but stay in the game.

So if you find yourself in the camp of the diapointed players by all means complain. It is a valid complaint. But please to not expect necessarly that all your wishes will be met. As time goes more content will be added (it is the nature of an MMO) but never enough ( 1 hour of in game content is days if not weeks of developpement work). If you grow too dissatified : stop playing. If enough player quit either of 2 things will happen 1: they will improve the game in an attempt to keep the players that stayed therefore it is good for those of us that keep playing or 2: the game will die. Either way you will not care since you will have left for greener pastures (other games).

Fiachsidhe's Avatar

02.10.2012 , 04:27 PM | #36
I played to fifty as a light side jedi sentinel, with my friend who played the same only dark side:


Also I've had several quest chains, change to competely different quests, depending on light and dark side choices.